Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe has confirmed this will be his last year at the helm of the airline.
Mr Fyfe took over as chief executive in late 2005 replacing Ralph Norris who had guided the company through its government recapitalisation in 2001.
Since Mr Fyfe took over the airline maintained its profitability through the global recession and has won several international awards.
"Rob has been - and continues to be - an outstanding chief executive officer with the full support of the Air New Zealand Board," chairman John Palmer said in a statement today.
“He has ensured that Air New Zealand has remained profitable despite the backdrop of turbulent economic times that have seen airlines lose billions globally.”
Mr Fyfe says his decision to leave Air New Zealand on December 31 coincides with the end of his term as chairman of Star Alliance and will also see him complete four years as a Board member of the International Air Transport Association.
He did not say what he intends to do next.
“I committed to the Air New Zealand Board that I would not look to leave until I was confident that I had a strong team around me and the Board was in a position to attract significant interest from global candidates alongside very strong internal candidates for the role of chief executive.’
Mr Fyfe says the executive management team has been working on a suite of initiatives to seize some exciting new opportunities and address the challenges Air New Zealand faces.
Air New Zealand shares [AIR:NZX] fell 1c to 90c in early trading. The fall off continued with the shares trading down 3c (or 3.3%) at 88c at 1.30pm